Not everyone is ready to buy your product or service the first time they visit your site – no sweat, that’s the norm. The B2B sales cycle is long. So, before a prospect is ready to become a sales-ready lead, it pays off to build trust while they make their way through the buyer’s journey. But unlike our B2C marketing counterparts, a simple abandon cart won’t cut it. B2B buyers are sophisticated and their marketing should be too.

B2B marketers love to generate leads, but without a successful nurture campaign, they’re not maximizing each lead’s potential. A recent study showed that effective lead nurturing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. And, it’s valuable to sales, marketing, and customer service teams.

I love stats, but I hate this one: 65% of B2B marketers aren’t executing lead nurture tactics. Don’t let this be you. Stop leaving leads on the table and add them to your funnel instead.

First, define your goal

Like any marketing initiative, start with your objective and define the role you want lead nurture to play in your larger marketing strategy. You can have many nurture campaigns in market at any given time, but each should have a unique goal.

Is your goal to engage with prospects? Start with a welcome campaign that ensures your brand is a happy addition to any inbox. Looking to educate instead? Nurture leads by building trust through informative content like eBooks, webinars, and blog posts. Hoping to close a client in the decision-making process? Product-demos or promotional drips are sure-fire ways to close more clients. Have retention in mind? Get an onboarding campaign in market or work with your customer service team on developing client-friendly content.

Keep the buyer’s journey in mind when building your lead nurture funnel by aligning lead nurture activities with the stages of the buyer’s journey. By following the buyer’s journey, you’ll construct a well-thought-out flow that will push leads through the sales funnel in a more thoughtful way.

Next, Segment

The more personalized your content the better. So, the more information you have on a prospect the better. Think beyond the buyer’s journey and get personal with your prospects.

For example, we may segment our nurture flows by industry, job title, or marketing interest. Armed with this info, we could send personalized content to a marketing manager at medical device manufacturer who is struggling with getting digital campaigns in market.

Let the data show you where to invest

I wasn’t lying when I said that I love data. I extra love it when it gives you insights into your customers and your marketing. The data that you collect from your lead nurture campaigns will give your team a deeper understanding of your customer. You’ll learn what messaging resonates best and what nurture tactics lead to conversion. Lead nurture data will also close gaps between marketing and sales teams by giving valuable sales-focused insights – think close ratios, sales cycle length, pipeline data, and retention numbers.

Dive into the data and analyze the success of each of your campaigns. Get started by asking yourself:

  • What campaigns are the most/least successful?
  • What do successful campaigns have in common?
  • What content types are the most/least successful?
  • What segments convert rapidly?
  • What segments drive the most ROI?

Now, get started

Get planning! Start mapping out your campaign goals and segmenting your prospects. If it’s your first lead nurture campaign, start small with a welcome campaign that introduces leads to your brand and your content. As your campaign progresses, start with small asks to get more personalization data. Before you know it, you’ll be your sales teams’ favorite marketer.